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Nicomachean Ethics   


respects the same as, or something like what, he gives; which is what
ought to happen between friends. Friendship for the sake of pleasure
bears a resemblance to this kind; for good people too are pleasant to
each other. So too does friendship for the sake of utility; for the
good are also useful to each other. Among men of these inferior sorts
too, friendships are most permanent when the friends get the same
thing from each other (e.g. pleasure), and not only that but also from
the same source, as happens between readywitted people, not as happens
between lover and beloved. For these do not take pleasure in the same
things, but the one in seeing the beloved and the other in receiving
attentions from his lover; and when the bloom of youth is passing the
friendship sometimes passes too (for the one finds no pleasure in the
sight of the other, and the other gets no attentions from the first);
but many lovers on the other hand are constant, if familiarity has led
them to love each other's characters, these being alike. But those who
exchange not pleasure but utility in their amour are both less truly
friends and less constant. Those who are friends for the sake of
utility part when the advantage is at an end; for they were lovers not
of each other but of profit.
For the sake of pleasure or utility, then, even bad men may be friends
of each other, or good men of bad, or one who is neither good nor bad
may be a friend to any sort of person, but for their own sake clearly
only good men can be friends; for bad men do not delight in each other
unless some advantage come of the relation.
The friendship of the good too and this alone is proof against
slander; for it is not easy to trust any one talk about a man who has
long been tested by oneself; and it is among good men that trust and
the feeling that 'he would never wrong me' and all the other things
that are demanded in true friendship are found. In the other kinds of
friendship, however, there is nothing to prevent these evils arising.
For men apply the name of friends even to those whose motive is
utility, in which sense states are said to be friendly (for the
alliances of states seem to aim at advantage), and to those who love
each other for the sake of pleasure, in which sense children are
called friends. Therefore we too ought perhaps to call such people
friends, and say that there are several kinds of friendship-firstly
and in the proper sense that of good men qua good, and by analogy the
other kinds; for it is in virtue of something good and something akin
to what is found in true friendship that they are friends, since even
the pleasant is good for the lovers of pleasure. But these two kinds
of friendship are not often united, nor do the same people become
friends for the sake of utility and of pleasure; for things that are
only incidentally connected are not often coupled together.
Friendship being divided into these kinds, bad men will be friends for
the sake of pleasure or of utility, being in this respect like each
other, but good men will be friends for their own sake, i.e. in virtue
of their goodness. These, then, are friends without qualification; the
others are friends incidentally and through a resemblance to these.
5
As in regard to the virtues some men are called good in respect of a
state of character, others in respect of an activity, so too in the
case of friendship; for those who live together delight in each other
and confer benefits on each other, but those who are asleep or locally
separated are not performing, but are disposed to perform, the
activities of friendship; distance does not break off the friendship
absolutely, but only the activity of it. But if the absence is
lasting, it seems actually to make men forget their friendship; hence
the saying 'out of sight, out of mind'. Neither old people nor sour
people seem to make friends easily; for there is little that is
pleasant in them, and no one can spend his days with one whose company
is painful, or not pleasant, since nature seems above all to avoid the
painful and to aim at the pleasant. Those, however, who approve of
each other but do not live together seem to be well-disposed rather
than actual friends. For there is nothing so characteristic of friends

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